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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I am looking at purchasing a very high mileage 2011 Outback (2.5L 4 Cyl engine CVT) in Canada. No sunroon but only heated seats on the model. It has 360000 Kms (225000 miles) and the owner says it has been mostly highway miles. Asking price is CAD 4600$. These are the maintenance items done on the vehicle:
a. Fully rebuilt Cylinder heads / head gasket rebuilt at about 250k.
b. Timing belts and water pumps were also done then.
c. Brakes were all done two years ago at 250K mileage too.
d. Exterior and Interior in near mint condition and they mentioned - All the rust spots were professionally repainted in the spring by a body shop.
e. Transmission is all original - no issues
f. Their mechanic also mentioned that the CV boots will need to be replaced soon.
Questions:
1. Is this pricing fair given the items replaced within the last 2 years at 250K mileage?
2. I haven't seen the car so am wondering if the rust spots have been professionally repainted will they hold well - I live in a snow belt area.
3. Transmission is original - at what kms do they usually fail? Are there owners here with 300K miles with their original cvt transmission? The replacement cost will be steep and it could be a safety issue with this model given the mileage?
4. What are the replacement costs for CV boots typically? If the axles require replacement, what would that cost.

Anything you can do to help will be appreciated.
Thanks,
 

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It's at the age where it's hard to generalize, but this car will likely be near end of life. OTH it may be cheap enough to take the chance on a couple more years. I wouldn't count on getting many more miles on the brakes.

The CV boots can be replaced easily. But if it's the front, you may as well spring for aftermarket axles, which sell for under $100/side. The weakest parts of the car are the the wheel bearings, so watch for noise and binding.

Rust is the killer. My experience here in the salt belt is that the body holds up pretty well, but rust infests the subframes, exhaust and suspension components, so you have to take a look at the underside. There's no telling whether the repair will last.
 

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2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited
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I'd say the price is fair given the apparent condition but very low for the year.

Take my opinion with a grain of salt:
  • Engine work would make me more concerned than comforted. Nothing beats a stock engine in good condition that has never been opened or repaired, in my opinion.
  • I wouldn't consider the timing belts, pump, brakes, etc. as anything other than regular maintenance, anything less would be neglect.
  • Try to figure out what type of rust was repaired. Unless they were tiny surface dings that had just surface rust, I doubt the body work will last more than a year or two in the rust belt. Whatever the owner was trying to hide will likely come right back.
  • Valve bodies (related to the CVT)seem to fail around 130,000 - 170,000 MILES. So either this one has been replaced or it's way beyond the normal failure mileage I've seen pop up on this forum.
  • You should absolutely test drive and inspect for rust before thinking too much about this vehicle. Look for significant structural rust underneath. Also, do a hard stop to a complete stop and see if the engine stutters or dies. If it does have an issue it could be the torque converter which is another common CVT issue that occurs.
I'd be pretty hesitant about this vehicle unless you like doing your own work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'd say the price is fair given the apparent condition but very low for the year.

Take my opinion with a grain of salt:
  • Engine work would make me more concerned than comforted. Nothing beats a stock engine in good condition that has never been opened or repaired, in my opinion.
  • I wouldn't consider the timing belts, pump, brakes, etc. as anything other than regular maintenance, anything less would be neglect.
  • Try to figure out what type of rust was repaired. Unless they were tiny surface dings that had just surface rust, I doubt the body work will last more than a year or two in the rust belt. Whatever the owner was trying to hide will likely come right back.
  • Valve bodies (related to the CVT)seem to fail around 130,000 - 170,000 MILES. So either this one has been replaced or it's way beyond the normal failure mileage I've seen pop up on this forum.
  • You should absolutely test drive and inspect for rust before thinking too much about this vehicle. Look for significant structural rust underneath. Also, do a hard stop to a complete stop and see if the engine stutters or dies. If it does have an issue it could be the torque converter which is another common CVT issue that occurs.
I'd be pretty hesitant about this vehicle unless you like doing your own work.
Thank you so much for the frank perspective and I guess I shouldn't get this because of the price. These other issues could cost me dearly.
 

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2010 Outback 3.6R 2014 Legacy 2.5i
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225K miles? unless you are getting for cheap ie cheaper than dirt, hard pass

I tend to track cars on car gurus and outbacks in the 300K range are pretty rare


out of 9788 cars only 2 are in the 300K club 129 are 200K or more
 

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2013 3.6R limited. 2006 Wrx Limited
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225K miles? unless you are getting for cheap ie cheaper than dirt, hard pass

I tend to track cars on car gurus and outbacks in the 300K range are pretty rare


out of 9788 cars only 2 are in the 300K club 129 are 200K or more

So either because they all die prior to 300k or people hang on to them.
 

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Outback 2011 3.6R Premium (sold Jan 22)
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Not sure what the timing belt replacement schedule is in Canada. In the US it is every 105,000 miles in the rest of the world it is 125,000 Km’s. If Canada follows the “rest of the world” the timing belt is due for replacement in around 15,000 Km’s.

DO NOT replace the CV shafts with aftermarket shafts. There are hundreds of posts on this forum about aftermarket CV shafts causing vibrations and other problems. It is much better to replace the CV boots on genuine CV shafts.

This vehicle would probably be great as a second vehicle but I think buying it for a “daily driver” is a bad idea.

Seagrass
 

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2013 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5i CVT AWP
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My neighbor's 2012 Outback Limited 2.5 had the TR580 CVT in it fail at 230K miles. Window mechanisms were bad. Struts were also bad. Head gaskets were also failing. Luckily, he managed to find a used, low-mileage CVT in Japan for $600 plus shipping.
 

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2020 Outback Premier 2.5i
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I agree with the cautionary/skeptical comments. At the very least, you should get it on a hoist and look underneath at the suspension, exhaust, floor panels, etc. yourself. As for fixing exterior panel rust, unless it was ALL completely removed inside and out it's like cancer - it's only in remission and will be back within 2 to 3 years. Might be better to see what else your budget will get you.
 

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my 2011 outback had to have the entire transmission replaced at 135K. Mind you only one part of the transmission failed (torque converter I think) but subaru said nobody can really fix it so i had to think long and hard about paying $6K for a new transmission. I ultimately did it because the car was in great shape and I plan to drive it way past 200K. Other 2011s have has same problem. subarau doens't really acknowledge.
 

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2010 Outback
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To echo everyone else—beware the CVT failure!!!! It’s next to impossible to get a replacement atm and even if you can (doubtful) the labor will eat your lunch.
I’m in the fun process of finding a replacement CVT for my daughters 2014 that just bit the dust 🤦🏼‍♀️
 

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Was a 2016 Outback 2.5i Premium, then a 2013 Outback 3.6R Limited, now a 2013 Outback 2.5i Limited
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The asking price appears pretty normal for the year model/ drivetrain/ mileage.
And since the 2011 still used the EJ25 engine (with their known head gasket issues) I am not surprised to see the cylinder heads have been rehoned and the head gaskets replaced. Problem is I would want to know which head gaskets they replaced them with. If the turbo MLS gaskets, that engine may go another 300k miles with no trouble.
The real question mark, as others have pointed out, is the CVT. Lots of the early TR-690s never made it that many miles. On the other hand, how many conventional automatics went that far without trouble? it's a guessing game with that mileage.
 

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2011 Outback 3.6R Premier w/206K miles.
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Last January (2021) I purchased my 2011 Outback 3.6R Premium for $4,900 and it had 206K miles on it. I had a PPI performed by a competent Subaru mechanic, discussed the mileage with him, and decided to take the risk and buy it. The PPI revealed a few things that didn't need immediate attention but were highly recommended (steering rack being the largest).

The two largest expenses I've had with it were the aforementioned steering rack and the drivers side windows regulator / motor (suddenly failed two weeks ago). The only other pricey item I decided to do was the transmission torque converter. Not because it had to be done but just because I wanted to have it done.

It currently has 211K miles on it and I'm very pleased with the purchase. So, did it make sense to purchase such a high mileage vehicle? Well, I can't say for certain. IMO the only thing that needed to be replaced on this vehicle based on the high mileage was the steering rack. Everything else appears to be things which fail / require maintenance on vehicles with many tens of thousands of miles less. I'm very pleased with the purchase and don't have any regrets.

I hope this helps give you some perspective.
 
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